The next day, I woke up earlier before Carlton could whine for my unpunctuality. I had no idea what to pack since this business trip has nothing to do with me but still, I grabbed appropriate dresses just in case I had to follow him for any business dinner. As I was packing my clothes in the wardrobe, I saw Harriet’s sweater folded neatly. Flashbacks splashed across my eyes and I had an instinct strongly whispering something at the back of my mind but couldn’t guessed it.
I held my head as the pain started to throb me alive and my breathing was heavy either. I tried to break the wall that collapsing around me but I can’t. My scream should have been thundering as Carlton rushed in the wardrobe, shook my shoulder that made me conscious, “Adele, what happened?” he sounded protective.
“It’s suffocating me, Carlton.” I managed to choke out and held his hand tightly which gave me comfort and I relaxed down in the touch. He squeezed my hand back and his expression changed, he seemed as if trying to contemplate about something so badly.
“It’s alright. You are fine, okay. Come” Carlton made me sit on the bed and handed me a glass of water. His eyes that flooded with worry never left me. “You sure you want to follow me?”
That one question was enough to make me gain my energy, I narrowed my eyes and stood up, “Don’t even think you’ll get a chance to have fun with your ex.” He chuckled slowly and shook his head in enjoyment. A crooked smile formed on my lips and continued to pack my things. He waited for me in the room and at the corner of my eyes I could see his moving along with my movement. That really made me conscious and clumsy, with a determined look and hands on the sides of my hips, and I turned to him.
“Carlton. Stop it. Go wait for me at outside, I’ll get down in a while.” He didn’t say anything but laughed softly and nodded.
Before walking out from the room, I glanced at my outfit that I decided to wear a halter neck crop top and ripped jeans with sneakers. I held up my hair into a messy bun and headed to downstairs. Carlton was waiting patiently for me while tapping on his phone screen and looked up at me when he heard my steps. His eyes went from top to bottom and as usual he looked away without a second glance.
“Shall we?” he asked before taking my luggage from my hand. I nodded with a bored expression on my face. “what’s with that face now?” He asked again once we were in the car.
“Nothing.” I replied him without turning my face toward him. I wore a resting bitch face since we left the house which made him to ask that question. He probably going to think me as a bipolar but he turning me into one. I just don’t get it why he didn’t even bother to look at me more than once. The whole rest of journey passed in silence.
I stomped my foot impatiently when we stood at the waiting area. As far as I remember, he owns a private jet and we don’t have to wait for anyone. I threw a glare on him which he replied with a wink. “Carlton, what are we still doing here?”
I didn’t notice the other person walking towards us since I was busying rolling my eyes at him. “Hi, Carl.”
This bitch! What happened to her clothes? So much of questions ran in my head. Is this how she will dress up every time she follows him to business trip and also at work? His mum was right! She certainly trying something by dressing up this way.
“Hi, Giana. Shall we?” he started to pace but stopped when I was still standing there with a fixed look of anger. And to add the oil in burning fire, “Hi, Adele. I didn’t know you’re coming too.” She tried to conceal her disappointment which was evident in her voice. I rolled my eyes and ignored her words.
As we were walking to the private jet, Carlton delicately interlocked my hand with his. “You can at least try to be nice to people sometimes.” I looked up into his eyes that were focused on me. I pulled my hand away from his and replied, “It’s not my duty to be nice to people’s ex.”
“People’s ex or only to mine?” He smirked arrogantly and wore his shades back when we were reaching out. I hated his arrogance since day one, it was different kind of arrogance that visits seldom but give a slap right on my face and awaken me. Nothing like Harr – I brushed the thought of comparing him with Harriet.
I massaged the bridge of my nose and reminded myself to stay away from him which was impossible. Because every time I would be doing the exact opposite. “You’re not coming?” A voice brought out me from my thoughts.
He asked with teasing voice and his eyes pointed at Giana and back to me. I mouthed ‘I dare you’ which didn’t do anything to him but made him chuckle. .I went to the lavatory and refreshed myself slightly. When I walked out from there, I saw Giana sitting next to Carlton with their own laptops. She moved closer to him, to show off her plastic boobs. My eyes widen and stared at the scene in front of me. I was fuming when didn’t realise how loudly I slammed the door of lavatory.
Giana straightened and looked at me but Carlton seemed as if he attempting to suppress his laugh. “Adele, I have to finalise the slides before the meeting. We’re getting it done now.” I nodded in tense and sat at her place.
I tossed out my phone from my handbag and texted Rhea, ‘Please look for a lawyer to bail me out.’
She replied, ‘Lol! What the bitch did? We can make it look like an accident. Oh wait, is my best friend jealous?’
I huffed in annoyance with Rhea’s reply and threw my phone. Sleep began to take over me and I didn’t fight it back. The sudden light turbulence brought me out from the dreamland and I sat up straight abruptly. Wondered how long I have been sleeping!
When I walked back to Carlton, he was still working on with his laptop while Giana was sleeping soundly. Luckily, she wasn’t on his shoulder or I would have killed her. I neared them and shook her shoulder quite harshly. “Hello, excuse me. Wake up”
“Adele, is that how to wake up someone?” He whispered.
“Like I care. Giana wake up. Go back to your place.” I spoke blankly. She stirred from her sleep and looked up at me. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn-,”
I didn’t let her finish her stupid lies, “Go back to your place. Don’t get used to sit next to him. Once you’re done, you should leave. I’ll claim what’s mine.” Once she cleared off her ass from there, I sat there with the same expression. BLANK!
“Oh my god, Adele. You’re a-, forget it.” He sniggered at me.
“Spit out” I said while facing him. He refused and gave me a dreamy smile. “Yes Carlton. I am a bad bitch.” He smirked. Then I mumbled under my breath, “especially when people mess up with what’s mine.”
“What did you say?” He asked in questioning look and stopping him from smiling. I shook my head and closed eyes to avoid him asking anymore questions. After the 8 hours journey, we reached New York. We hopped into the car that was waiting for us and went to the hotel that Giana booked for us.
The car pulled up in front of the hotel and I saw Giana fished out the booking information. Carlton’s phone rang and he answered the call, leaving me and Giana at the receptionist. “Good day, how can I help you?”
Giana showed her phone to the receptionist, “Oh room for Mr. Carlton and Ms. Giana. Hold on please.” I frowned for a second and turned to look at Giana who shivering. “You booked a room for you and him?” I gritted my teeth at her.
“No- no Adele.” She stuttered.
“We’re not in first name basis, Ms. Giana!” I snapped at her.
“Mrs. Wilbert, I didn’t know you’ll be following.”
“So? That doesn’t make you to sleep in a same room with my husband!” She couldn’t reply me. “Ms. Giana, I know what you’re trying to do. I advise you to stop your tricks. You’ll regret, trust me.” I added.
“No there wasn’t any available room when I make the reservation” She stated.
I scoffed, “Lol. In this gigantic luxurious hotel, there isn’t one damn room available for you? Who are you trying to fool?”
She swallowed in nervously. “Bear this in your little brain of yours. He may act professionally to you but don’t think I’ll be the same as him. I can be worse than your nightmare. You’re ex for a reason! And I’m not the usual wife that you thought. I hope I’m clear with you.”
I turned back to the receptionist, and said “Sir, change the name of reservation and give her a different room.” The lady smiled politely and proceeded with the reservation.
“All good?” Carlton’s hand touched my exposed skin and decreased the temperature that been boiling. I let out a heavy breath and glared at Giana. She interrupted and answered him instead, “Yes. All good.”
He narrowed his eyes toward me and gave a suspicious look. I grabbed the key to the room and stomped away from there without waiting for Carlton. While waiting for the elevator Carlton eyed me, “You okay Miss Adele Raquel?” It was filled with amusement.
“Shut up!” We entered the elevator and I was still pissed with Giana. I wish I could slap but I was even more frustrated with myself for reacting this way.
“You sure everything was fine between you both earlier?” He asked.
“What made you suspicious now?”
“Your face. And of course, the way you’ve been reacting.” He replied. I rolled my eyes and ready to leave the elevator.
His hand reached my wrist and pulled me back to hit his hard chest. His masculine scent filled my nose as he stood behind me. “One more time of eye roll, you’ll be punished.” He whispered huskily and it sent chill over my spine. Deja vu!
I never want to break that one law like I always do.
But my mouth was too fast than anything, “I’m not up for any empty threats.” I replied. He laughed seductively and pulled back when the elevator opened.
When I was entering, he still continued the same topic. “Is my wife jealous? Possessive” amusement filled in his voice.
Ugh! “Stop dreaming. Why would I be jealous over that barbie?” I gave him a bored face and landed on the king bed. It was luxurious Empire Suite with a breath-taking view of the city. Suddenly I remembered that Giana booked this room for both of them.
I took the pillow and screamed into it while covering my face on it. I threw it away and tried to brush off the stupid thoughts that popping in my head. I opened my eyes to see if he’s in the bedroom but no it was empty. “I hate you, Carlton Wilbert!”
I heard a laugh from outside and he replied, “Thank you, wife. Come here first.”
“I really do.” I said as I walked to the living area in the room. “You need food. Come here” My stomach grumbled in hunger as soon as I saw the food tray. I sat before he could say anything and devoured the food.
“Oh my god, this taste good!” I moaned while stuffing the dessert. Carlton’s lips curved upwards at me. I returned his smile dreamily and offered him a brownie.
“Nope, not now.”
“Oh Carlton. You should try this. It’s so moist and delicious. I promise you won’t regret.” I made him open his mouth and waited for his reaction.
“Hmm nice but I preferred yours.” I gave him a proud smile and winked at him. He reached for the glass of wine and met my eyes as he took a sip. Suddenly I wondered what he really meant earlier and the whole room got hotter. I cleared my throat, “You’ll be working?” without breaking the eye contact he nodded.
“Okay then, carry on. Work well.” I made my way to the room while he continued with his work. I stood in the room, contemplating if I should go to bed or take a bath.
I immersed myself in the bathtub and relaxed with the scent of the candle provided by the hotel management. It literally took to a different world as nothing calmer than soaking in bubble bath. Once done, I wrapped myself in thick cotton bathrobe and walked out. I saw Carlton sitting on the bed with his laptop instead at the office of the suite.
Ignoring his presence, I rummaged for a decent cloth in my luggage. I wore a silk loungewear and continued with my night routine. While applying the toner, our eyes met in the mirror. His gaze was so strong. I looked away and applied my serum. “Take a picture, it will last long.” I looked up while saying that. He chuckled.
I could hear it all day long. “You look beautiful especially when you’re busy doing something.” One side of my lips raised a little bit with his words as I brushed my hair. “Are you hitting on me, Sir? I’m married.” I turned around and showed my ring.
“Ouch, that’s sad. Who’s that lucky man?” He played along well and replied me while placing his laptop to the side and walked toward me. I acted as if thinking hardly to reply him and said, “Uhh, he’s a pain in ass.”
“Oh honey, that’s not something nice to hear.” A smirk appeared on his face and slowly neared to my direction. I stood there with mixed feeling, excited and nervous. Without making it evident, I asked, “How about you? Are you married?”
“Oh yes I am. But she is a little possessive” I snapped my head at him. “No, I’m not!”
He smiled mischievously, “Not you but I meant my wife ma’am.” My cheeks turned red with his reply but quickly covered it with my palms. He enjoyed it as enjoyment filled his eyes.
“I’m sure she has her reasons sir” I reply once gathered myself with a defensive tone.
“Of course, she has. She hates my secretary and gave her a piece of mind earlier.” He raised his eyebrows with a quizzical smile. I chewed the side of my mouth when he said that but instantly registered his words, “Oh! So, you know about the room?”
“Honestly, no. But I heard the conversation you both had.”
“Anyways, why do you think she loathe her?” His eyes widen with the choice of my words, “Isn’t loathe such a strong word?”
“Your wife loathes your secretary. Now answer me.” I waited fir his reply impatiently.
“Well, my secretary was my ex.”
“No wonder. Sir, you really need to hire someone else as your secretary.” I indirectly or maybe directly gave him a suggestion. Hoping highly, he would consider it. But that was impossible when he replied, “Instead of that, my wife can try to understand and trust me a little.” He placed his hand on my chin lifting up to face him.
“You’re just as stubborn as my husband. Pain in ass.” I scowled and jerked my head out his grasp that slowly burning me. “I’m flattered. So, tell me more about your husband.” He was having fun.
Two can play the game, I thought.
“He has neatly trimmed hair and sideburns. Always on point. He has a pair of captivating eyes. Devilishly handsome with a killer body that definitely would make anyone to go crazy.” As I said this, I touched his hair and slowly trailed a finger the side of his face and traced his arms.
“Beautiful lips, with a perfect smile. But not sure of the taste tho. Never tasted before.” His body tensed but a lazy smirk formed. I realised that I pressed the most wrong button ever when noticed his darken eyes.
Gulping nervously, “Hmm, Carlton I just remembered. I should return Rhea’s call.” I made myself to move away but I was late. He imprisoned me between his hand. Fuck! I called for a disaster, but bravely looked up at him. I could hear my own heartbeat at the moment.
“Nice move ma’am but where do you think you’re going? Don’t you want to know about my wife?” He whispered in my ear as he bent down. I couldn’t think at all.
‘Adele, you never learn your lesson.’
“She’s interesting. Never think of the consequences and regrets later, like right now.” He commented huskily. I breathed deeply. “Beautiful. I love the smell of her long wavy hair that cascades down. Sharp round eyes that hide thousands of unsaid things. Attractive lips with a bright smile all the time until anyone pisses off her.” He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me closer. His arm tightened when I struggled to push him harder.
“Her neck...” His eyes moved my neck to meet my eyes and looked intensely. I felt tingling between my legs and again dumbly bit my lower lips. “Fuck, Adele” he took me by surprise when his mouth kissed down my neck and bit it.
I gasped and my fingers curled up through his hair as responding to his touch. His soft lips captured my lips that had been tortured by him all this while. I pathetically gave in and melted; a soft moan escaped from my lips.
Unexpectedly, he pulled back and his lustful eyes were instantly replaced with an anonymous feeling. My body was still humming and processing whatever happened. God, was this what we called as awkward moment? I looked at him for a second, tried to figure out his mind.
“It’s getting late, you should sleep. Good night.” He said without ever looking up which was totally strange for Carlton who always looked right in people’s eyes.
I stood there watching him walking out from the room. I wish I could understand what just happened but couldn’t. On the bed, I touched my lips and thought about the kiss. It was the very first kiss, the real kiss.
I giggled to myself and pulled the duvet up to my chest. Dozens of questions pilling up in my mind but before I could find for the answers, I pulled into a deep sleep.